China and Ecuador Sign Free Trade Agreement

Posted by Written by Qian Zhou Reading Time: 3 minutes

China and Ecuador have signed a free trade agreement (FTA), which is expected to deepen ties between the South American nation and the world’s second-biggest economy. 

China-Ecuador FTA

On May 11, 2023, Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao and Julio Jose Prado, Ecuador’s Minister Of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment, and Fisheries, signed the FTA between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Ecuador on behalf of their respective governments via video link. 

The China-Ecuador FTA was concluded in the “most efficient way”, according to Mr. Prado. The joint feasibility research for the FTA began in September 2021 and concluded in January 2022, significantly faster than other FTA negotiations. Both countries have committed to carrying out their respective domestic procedures to expedite the implementation of the agreement.

In recent years, China and Ecuador have made remarkable progress in economic cooperation, resulting in a significant increase in bilateral trade. In 2021, China-Ecuador trade amounted to US$10.95 billion, a 44.5 percent growth from the previous year. As a result, China has become Ecuador’s largest trading partner for two years in a row. In 2022, bilateral trade between China and Ecuador reached a record high of US$13 billion, with a year-on-year increase of nearly 20 percent. 

The China-Ecuador FTA is expected to play a positive role in promoting sustained, stable, and diversified trade and investment development between the two countries, taking their bilateral economic cooperation and trade to new heights. 

As of writing this article, the text of the China-Ecuador FTA is unavailable. However, according to the Ecuadorian government, the agreement will enable Ecuador to export 99.6 percent of its products to China without tariffs. Notably, products such as shrimp, bananas, quinoa, cut flowers, cocoa, and coffee hold significant growth potential under the new arrangement. The agreement is projected to boost Ecuador’s non-oil exports by up to a third over the next 10 years. 

China’s free trade agreement network

With the signing of the China-Ecuador FTA, China has expanded its FTA arrangements to include 27 countries or regions, including the 10 Southeast Asian countries (i.e., ASEAN nations). Furthermore, China is currently engaged in negotiations for 10 additional FTAs and is considering another eight. 

China free trade agreement

Status of China FTAs

For a complete overview of China’s FTA framework, please refer to the table below: 

Countries/Regions with FTAs with China
FTA  Countries  Status 
China-Ecuador FTA  Ecuador  Signed 
China-Nicaragua FTA  Nicaragua  Early harvest arrangement signed 
RCEP  ASEAN (10), China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand  Signed and effective 
China-Cambodia FTA  Cambodia  Signed and effective 
China-Mauritius FTA  Mauritius  Signed and effective 
China-Maldives FTA  Maldives  Signed 
China-Georgia FTA  Georgia  Signed and effective 
China-Australia FTA  Australia  Signed and effective 
China-Korea FTA  South Korea  Signed and effective 
China-Switzerland FTA  Switzerland  Signed and effective 
China-Iceland FTA  Iceland  Signed and effective 
China-Costa Rica FTA  Costa Rica  Signed and effective 
China-Peru FTA  Peru  Signed and effective 
China-Singapore FTA  Singapore  Signed and effective 
China-New Zealand  New Zealand  Signed and effective 
China-Chile FTA  Chile  Signed and effective 
China-Pakistan FTA  Pakistan  Signed and effective 
China-ASEAN FTA  Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam  Signed and effective 
Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic and Partnership Arrangement  Hong Kong  Signed and effective 
Mainland and Macao Closer Economic and Partnership Arrangement  Macao  Signed and effective 
China-Taiwan ECFA  Taiwan  Signed and originally expired in September 2020 

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